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Why Someone Who is Bilingual is NOT a Translator

A case for hiring a language professional

Language shapes the way our thoughts form and how we choose to communicate. So, if you grow up speaking, listening and absorbing North American English, that is how you will communicate. There are an infinite amount of colloquialisms, regional sayings or words that you would only be familiar with if you had an unconscious understanding of how English (for an example) structured itself.

The same goes with any other native language. Romance languages, like French, Spanish and Italian, use genders when referring to nouns. As a result, when describing things like a book or car, they might use more feminine or masculine descriptors. These habits are innate. Native language users barely give a thought to how they would construct a sentence.

Now, you may be wondering how this applies to translation and bilingualism in general. As a rule, we all have one language that we feel most comfortable expressing ourselves in, our primary language. When it comes to translation, translators generally prefer translating towards their primary language.

As a translator, you are trained to recognize the differences of expression, sentence structure and other elements that all contribute to communicating an effective message.

In the end, this is what a good translation is. It communicates the message in the clearest, most accurate manner of the target language.

Translators are trained language professionals who have committed themselves to writing and communicating at a master level in the source language. They take it upon themselves to keep learning about every topic, and you can guarantee in-depth research will be undertaken if the document to translate is a specialized text.

This is not to say bilingual employees/people are not a fantastic resource. Just as you would hire a lawyer to handle copyright issues, or an accountant to organize your business’ finances, a translator is a professional who is trained to write, edit and create in whatever target language you are looking for.

Trust ALL ABOUT WORDS to find the best language professional for any of your translation or proofreading needs. We have a fantastic team of professionals who have delivered top-quality translations in all of our 72 offered languages.

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